Duck poaching investigation leads to charges against 5

December 20, 2021 GMT

JAMESTOWN, R.I. (AP) — Five people are facing criminal and civil charges in connection with alleged illegal waterfowl hunting in Rhode Island, according to state environmental officials.

The Department of Environmental Management’s Division of Law Enforcement also seized five guns and several ducks and geese that were then donated to a Providence social services agency, officials said in a Facebook post on Sunday.

The investigation started a week ago when environmental police received a complaint of poachers shooting ducks while their boat was still under power in lower Narragansett Bay, according to the post.

On Saturday, an officer patrolling Jamestown spotted the boat.

“Officers watched the group motor up to several flocks of ducks and geese and shoot while the boat was still under power,” police said. The hunters were met by officers when they returned to the boat ramp. No names were released.

They face violations including taking waterfowl from a vessel under power, a misdemeanor.

The hunters were properly licensed but boats are supposed to be at anchor while hunting, Environmental Police Lt. Michael Schipritt said. A vessel under power gives hunters an unfair advantage, which he compared to “running over a deer with your car.”

The birds were donated to the Center for Southeast Asians in Providence, officials said.